Futurism logo

Best Star Wars Books

The best Star Wars books are a window to the history of the film franchise.

By Frank WhitePublished 8 years ago 13 min read

Star Wars is perhaps one of the most important franchises of the 20th century. The 21st century promises to deliver more of the ever expanding universe. Disney has bought Lucasfilm and has mapped out the next decade of Star Wars activity. With some of the most exciting characters in the franchise being women, the audience for the franchise has grown exponentially. Not only has J.J. Abrams rebooted the movies, but the franchise has inspired an army of writers focused on the Star Wars universe. The Star Wars books enhance the experience of being a Star Wars fan, whether it’s learning ancient history, getting background on a favorite character, or following the heroes of the original trilogy.

In John Jackson Miller's Kenobi, the Republic has fallen. Sith Lords rule the galaxy. Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi has lost everything... Everything but hope. Tatooine—a harsh desert world where farmers toil in the heat of two suns while trying to protect themselves and their loved ones from the marauding Tusken Raiders. A backwater planet on the edge of civilized space. And an unlikely place to find a Jedi Master in hiding or an orphaned infant boy on whose tiny shoulders rests the future of a galaxy. Known to locals only as Ben, the bearded and robed offworlder is an enigmatic stranger who keeps to himself, shares nothing of his past, and goes to great pains to remain an outsider. But as tensions escalate between the farmers and a tribe of Sand People led by a ruthless war chief, Ben finds himself drawn into the fight, endangering the very mission that brought him to Tatooine.

The story of Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories takes place 5,000 years ago. After a Jedi ambush, the Sith mining ship Omen lies wrecked on a remote, unknown planet. Its commander, Yaru Korsin, battles the bloodshed of a mutinous faction led by his own brother. Marooned and facing death, the Sith crew have no choice but to venture into their desolate surroundings. They face any number of brutal challenges—vicious predators, lethal plagues, tribal people who worship vengeful gods—and like true Sith warriors, counter them with the dark side of the Force. The struggles are just beginning for the proud, uncompromising Sith, driven as they are to rule at all costs. They will vanquish the primitive natives, and they will find their way back to their true destiny as rulers of the galaxy. But as their legacy grows over thousands of years, the Sith ultimately find themselves tested by the most dangerous threat of all: the enemy within.

*Also featured in the Best Star Wars Sith Books

Tim Lebbon's Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void takes place on the planet Tython, where the ancient Je’daii order was founded. And at the feet of its wise Masters, Lanoree Brock learned the mysteries and methods of the Force—and found her calling as one of its most powerful disciples. But as strongly as the Force flowed within Lanoree and her parents, it remained absent in her brother, who grew to despise and shun the Je’daii, and whose training in its ancient ways ended in tragedy. Now, from her solitary life as a Ranger keeping order across the galaxy, Lanoree has been summoned by the Je’daii Council on a matter of utmost urgency. The leader of a fanatical cult, obsessed with traveling beyond the reaches of known space, is bent on opening a cosmic gateway using dreaded dark matter as the key—risking a cataclysmic reaction that will consume the entire star system. But more shocking to Lanoree than even the prospect of total galactic annihilation is the decision of her Je’daii Masters to task her with the mission of preventing it. Until a staggering revelation makes clear why she was chosen: The brilliant, dangerous madman she must track down and stop at any cost is the brother whose death she has long grieved—and whose life she must now fear.

There’s something out there. A juggernaut of evil bearing down to crush the Republic—unless one lone Jedi, shunned and reviled, can stop it. Revan—hero, traitor, conqueror, villain, savior. A Jedi who left Coruscant to defeat Mandalorians and returned a disciple of the dark side, bent on destroying the Republic. In Drew Karpyshyn's Revan, the third book in the Star Wars: The Old Republic series, the Jedi Council gave Revan his life back, but the price of redemption was high. His memories have been erased. All that’s left are nightmares—and deep, abiding fear. What exactly happened beyond the Outer Rim? Revan can’t quite remember, yet can’t entirely forget. Somehow he stumbled across a terrible secret that threatens the very existence of the Republic. With no idea what it is, or how to stop it, Revan may very well fail, for he’s never faced a more powerful and diabolic enemy. But only death can stop him from trying.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... Kevin Hearne's Heir to the Jedi brings us a thrilling new adventure set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back—written entirely from Luke Skywalker’s first-person point of view. Luke Skywalker’s game-changing destruction of the Death Star has made him not only a hero of the Rebel Alliance but a valuable asset in the ongoing battle against the Empire. Though he’s a long way from mastering the power of the Force, there’s no denying his phenomenal skills as a pilot—and in the eyes of Rebel leaders Princess Leia Organa and Admiral Ackbar, there’s no one better qualified to carry out a daring rescue mission crucial to the Alliance cause.

For 1,000 generations, the Jedi Knights brought peace and order to the Galactic Republic, aided by their connection to the mystical energy field known as the Force. But they were betrayed—and the entire galaxy has paid the price. It is the Age of the Empire. Now Emperor Palpatine, once Chancellor of the Republic and secretly a Sith follower of the dark side of the Force, has brought his own peace and order to the galaxy in John Jackson Miller's A New Dawn. Peace through brutal repression, and order through increasing control of his subject's lives. But even as the Emperor tightens his iron grip, others have begun to question his means and motives. And still others, whose lives were destroyed by Palpatine’s machinations, lay scattered about the galaxy like unexploded bombs, waiting to go off.

Tarkin is the scion of an honorable and revered family. A dedicated soldier and distinguished legislator. Loyal proponent of the Republic and trusted ally of the Jedi Order. Groomed by the ruthless politician and Sith Lord who would be Emperor, Governor Wilhuff Tarkin rises through the Imperial ranks, enforcing his authority ever more mercilessly and zealously pursuing his destiny as the architect of absolute dominion. Rule through the fear of force rather than force itself, he advises his Emperor. In James Luceno's Star Wars: Tarkin, an ultimate weapon of unparalleled destruction moves ever closer to becoming a terrifying reality under Tarkin's rule. When the so-called Death Star is completed, Tarkin is confident that the galaxy’s lingering pockets of Separatist rebellion will be brought to heel—by intimidation... or annihilation.

For the first time in one thrilling volume, The Dark Lord Trilogy, three novels by James Luceno and Matthew Stover—Labyrinth of Evil, Revenge of the Sith, and Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader—that follow an epic chain of events. The last days of the Republic, the creation of the Empire, and the ultimate transformation of Jedi Anakin Skywalker into the notorious Darth Vader. On the planet Neimoidia, Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker seize an unexpected prize: intelligence capable of leading the Republic forces to the ever-elusive Darth Sidious, who is ruthlessly orchestrating a campaign to divide and overwhelm the Jedi forces. As combat escalates across the galaxy, and Darth Sidious remains one step ahead of his pursuers, and the stage is set for an explosive endgame. Tormented by unspeakable visions, Anakin edges closer to the brink of a galaxy-shaping decision, while Darth Sidious plots to strike the final staggering blow against the Republic—and to ordain a fearsome new Sith Lord, Darth Vader.

In Timothy Zahn's Heir To The Empire, it has been five years since Return of the Jedi. The Rebel Alliance has destroyed the Death Star, defeated Darth Vader and the Emperor, and driven out the remnants of the old Imperial Starfleet to a distant corner of the galaxy. Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting Jedi Twins. Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of Jedi Knights. But thousands of light-years away, the last of the emperor's warlords has taken command of the shattered Imperial Fleet, readied it for war, and pointed it at the fragile heart of the new Republic. This dark warrior has made two vital discoveries that could destroy everything the courageous men and women of the Rebel Alliance fought so hard to build. The explosive confrontation that results is a towering epic of action, invention, mystery, and spectacle on a galactic scale—in short, a story worthy of the name Star Wars.

Darth Plagueis is one of the most brilliant Sith Lords who ever lived. Possessing power is all he desires. Losing it is the only thing he fears. As an apprentice, he embraces the ruthless ways of the Sith. And when the time is right, he destroys his Master—but vows never to suffer the same fate. For like no other disciple of the dark side, Darth Plagueis learns to command the ultimate power over life and death. In James Luceno's Darth Plagueis, Darth Sidious is Plagueis’s chosen apprentice. Under the guidance of his Master, he secretly studies the ways of the Sith, while publicly rising to power in the galactic government, first as Senator, then as Chancellor, and eventually as Emperor. Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious, Master and acolyte, target the galaxy for domination—and the Jedi Order for annihilation. But can they defy the merciless Sith tradition? Or will the desire of one to rule supreme, and the dream of the other to live forever, sow the seeds of their destruction?

Despite the heavy critique that the prequel movies received, Darth Maul was always a fan favorite. His lightsaber battle with Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon Jinn still remains a highlight out of all the lightsaber duels from all the movies. Unfortunately, George Lucas made the mistake of having Obi-Wan cut him in half, thus depriving fans of ever seeing his iconic horned helm ever again in any of the Star Wars films. Thankfully this mistake was rectified in the various Star Wars comics, tv shows, and novels. Easily the best of Darth Maul’s solo outings has to be Star Wars: Darth Maul, Shadow Hunter by Michael Reaves. This novel really delves deeply into his character, exploring Darth Maul’s origins and thought process. Darth Maul is tasked by Palpatine with hunting down a Neimoidian contact who threatens to reveal his plan to bring down the Republic and the Jedi order. Darth Maul is sent into the depths of Coruscant on an espionage mission to assassinate this rogue contact before his information falls into the wrong hands. If you ever wanted to read a James Bond style espionage thriller starring one of the deadliest killing machines ever produced by the Sith then you can’t do any better than Darth Maul, Shadow Hunter.

What’s cooler... zombies or Star Wars? Enjoying the terror of zombies within the sci-fi fantasy of Star Wars with Joe Schreiber's Star Wars: Red Harvest. Red Harvest serves as the prequel to the fan favorite Star Wars book Death Troopers. In Red Harvest, we learn the origin of the zombifying virus that transforms Jedi and stormtroopers alike into lifeless zombies. The greatest prize all Sith seek is the key to immortality, and Sith Lord Darth Scabrous seeks a rare black orchid to finally turn his ambition into a reality. Unfortunately, that reality turns into a nightmare as a Sith Lord gains control of an immortal army of zombies, but can the undead be tamed through the power of the force? Only a young Jedi with the ability to use the force to commune with plants has the chance of stopping this galaxy spanning plague. If you ever wanted to see the galaxy far, far away mix in the realm of George Romero, then Red Harvest is the best Star Wars story ever written.

If there is a Sith Lord more infamous than Palpatine or the newly introduced Supreme Leader Snoke, then it has to be Darth Bane. This Sith Lord was responsible for instituting the now infamous rule of two, which has come to dictate how the Sith have chosen to operate in the Star Wars universe for over a thousand years. Path of Destruction, book one in the Star Wars: Darth Bane series, gives an origin story to perhaps the greatest most influential villain in the Star Wars universe. This story chronicles Darth Bane’s humble origins as a miner into his training in the Sith academy amidst the galactic conflict of the Sith empire and the old republic. The moments in this book serve as the defining pieces of what will become the cornerstone of Darth Bane’s radical new philosophy for the Sith and how his teachings will become the dark ideas that permeate the galaxy for eons to come, ultimately leading to the creation of the galactic empire.

Easily one of the most dramatic chapters in the New Jedi Order series, Troy Denning's Star by Star sees the Yuuzhan Vong engineering creatures to hunt down the Jedi. Han Solo and Leia’s youngest son Anakin Skywalker leads a strike force to put a stop to the creatures once and for all. But this isn’t even the biggest event of the book. The Yuuzhan Vaan pull off the most daring part of their invasion effort by attacking the heart of the New Republic itself, Coruscant. The galaxies do their best, but even the bravest heroes of a galaxy far, far away find themselves overcome by the sheer ruthlessness of the Yuuzhan Vong, who claim the beloved capital planet as their own.

In Greg Keyes's The Final Prophecy, the penultimate book of The New Jedi Order series, the living planet Zonama Sekot could potentially redefine the future of the galaxy as the Alliance and Vong face off fighting to claim it, with the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance. As the battle for the living planet rages, a group of Jedi go on a covert mission to infiltrate Coruscant to find a potential defector who could change everything. Alliances are tested and loyalties are frayed in the second to last piece in one of the most epic storylines ever to come out from a galaxy far far away.

The New Jedi Order reaches its epic climax in a finale worthy of Star Wars in James Luceno's Unifying Force. The Alliance takes the fight to the Yuuzhan Vong as they lead a huge fleet to to take back their former capital world of Coruscant. Aiding them in their battle is a group of Yuuzhan Vong outcasts known as the Shamed Ones who have allied themselves with the Alliance in hopes of overthrowing the higher caste oppressors. Jacen Solo confronts his destiny as he must face down the Supreme Overlord of the Yuuzhan Vong in a final confrontation where he must decide his ultimate alliance with the force and the fate of the galaxy itself.

star warsliteraturelist

About the Creator

Frank White

New Yorker in his forties. His counsel is sought by many, offered to few. Traveled the world in search of answers, but found more questions.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.